Former attorney general says she can’t publicly discuss SNC Lavalin allegations

Postado Fevereiro 09, 2019

Canada's former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould was involved in government discussions last fall about whether engineering firm SNC-Lavalin should be allowed to avoid criminal prosecution, and the talks were perfectly legal, government officials have told The Canadian Press.

The Globe and Mail never reported that officials in Mr. Trudeau's office had directed Ms. Wilson-Raybould to take action - only that she was pressured to do so and declined.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Veterans Affairs Minister Jodie Wilson-Raybould attend a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

Wilson-Raybould moved from being attorney general to minister of Veterans Affairs on January 14.

Ms. Wilson-Raybould was unwilling to instruct the director of the service, Kathleen Roussel, to negotiate a "remediation agreement" with SNC-Lavalin, according to sources who were granted anonymity to speak directly about what went on behind-the-scenes.

That's why he says his party will request an emergency Justice Committee Meeting to call witnesses and get answers.

The Globe and Mail newspaper reports that SNC-Lavalin repeatedly lobbied Justin Trudeau's aides for a deal and that his office leaned on Wilson-Raybould to make it happen.

The list includes Lametti, the prime minister's chief of staff Katie Telford, and his principal secretary Gerald Butts.

SNC has previously been charged with bribery and corruption over its efforts to secure government business in Libya.

The Official Opposition Leader said the Prime Minister's response Thursday morning was insufficient and scripted.

Conservative and NDP members pressed the government for details of any conversations that may have taken place on the file in government circles, including between the Prime Minister's Office and the attorney general's office.

The prime minister should have nothing to fear from an independent investigation by the federal ethics commissioner, Singh said separately.

"If he truly wants to clear this up and believes there's been no wrongdoing, he should welcome an investigation from the ethics commissioner". Much deeper. Wilson-Raybould was unable to mask still-evident shock.

Both Scheer and Singh argue the issue cuts to the heart of our democracy and independent system of justice.

"At the end of the day, Canadians deserve to have a government on their side, on the side of justice, not on the side of a multinational corporation". He said the allegations suggest there may have been possible violations of three sections of the federal Conflict of Interest Act: the prohibitions against public office holders giving preferential treatment to any individual or organization, using insider information to improperly further a person's private interests or seeking to influence a decision to further another person's private interests.

The fact that such directives must be done publicly would seem to constrain a justice minister from doing anything overtly political.